Device thrombogenicity emulation: a novel methodology for optimizing the thromboresistance of cardiovascular devices

J Biomech. 2013 Jan 18;46(2):338-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.11.033. Epub 2012 Dec 6.


Thrombotic complications with mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices remain a critical limitation to their long-term use. Device-induced shear forces may enhance the thrombotic potential of MCS devices through chronic activation of platelets, with a known dose-time response of the platelets to the accumulated stress experienced while flowing through the device-mandating complex, lifelong anticoagulation therapy. To enhance the thromboresistance of these devices for facilitating their long-term use, a universal predictive methodology entitled device thrombogenicity emulation (DTE) was developed. DTE is aimed at optimizing the thromboresistance of any MCS device. It is designed to test device-mediated thrombogenicity, coupled with virtual design modifications, in an iterative approach. This disruptive technology combines in silico numerical simulations with in vitro measurements, by correlating device hemodynamics with platelet activity coagulation markers-before and after iterative design modifications aimed at achieving optimized thrombogenic performance. The design changes are first tested in the numerical domain, and the resultant device conditions are then emulated in a hemodynamic shearing device (HSD) in which platelet activity is measured under device emulated conditions. As such, DTE can be easily incorporated during the device research and development phase-achieving minimization of the device thrombogenicity before prototypes are built and tested thereby reducing the ultimate cost of preclinical and clinical trials. The robust capability of this predictive technology is demonstrated here in various MCS devices. The presented examples indicate the potential of DTE for reducing device thrombogenicity to a level that may obviate or significantly reduce the extent of anticoagulation currently mandated for patients implanted with MCS devices for safe long-term clinical use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Blood Platelets / pathology
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / instrumentation*
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Platelet Activation*
  • Shear Strength
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*